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Travel on a budget

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Olivia Garner, CCN Reporter

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Throughout high school, several students develop a thirst for travel and adventure. However, those dreams are often crushed because of financial constraints such as college debt, rent payments, electricity bills, etc. Trying to find some inexpensive ways to travel is difficult, but do-able. If you are looking for some amazing trips that won’t break your bank, here are a few suggestions…

 

Pick a reasonable destination– Sometimes travels are centered around a destination, but if you are just looking for adventure, the place you pick can greatly affect the cost of your trip. The US is full of expensive travel destinations, but if you look hard enough, you can find some inexpensive gems lying amidst them. Places like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and other national parks are great places that offer plenty of free opportunities for travelers. Most require an entrance fee of approximately $30 per car, which will allow you in and out of the park for several days. Once in, these parks will offer immense outdoor opportunities for little to no cost.

If the outdoor scene is not your idea of fun travel, a destination such as Washington D.C. might be more your flow. D. C. has loads of free attractions such as the Smithsonian’s, National monuments, and other museums.

 

Explore transportation optionsLet’s face it, first class on a top rate airline would be ideal, but traveling like that will clean out your wallet in a heartbeat. Sometimes figuring out transportation can be the most adventurous part of your trip. Jump on a boat, hitch-hike, walk or even catch a train. A recent story was popularized about a man named Derek Low traveling across the United States by train for only $213. This seems like an awesome deal, but keep in mind this guy spent days onboard with only a seat as his place to eat, sleep, and breathe. If you are cool with something like this, the opportunity is there. Even though he was stuck in some tight quarters, he found beauty in the journey, “In the evening, we were treated to a view so sublime, you begin to wonder if people who fly across the country and never take the train are quite possibly insane.”

Be creative when finding how to get where you are going. Some people are starting to travel by cargo ship for a cheaper way to get basically anywhere that has a port. There are fewer people on a cargo vessel, which means you will have the opportunity to meet and interact with the crew and the other passengers aboard.

Find the cheapest transportation by mapping out the costs for travel by airplane, car, train boat, etc., then compare and take your cheapest option. Always make sure to leave a little cushion of money for emergency transportation. It is inevitable that when your budget is strapped, you will get a flat tire.

 

Don’t buy four course meals– PB&J. It is about the cheapest food you can find. Two bucks for bread, two for PB, and three for jelly. A loaf of bread typically has 22 slices. That means you can get 11 entrees for seven dollars. If your are looking for cheaper, cut the jelly and get it for $4. Options for cheap food are far and wide, just make sure you keep up the nutrition. Traveling will wear you out fast if you are not taking care of yourself.  There are some occasions where it’s reasonable to splurge. For example, food is a great way to experience culture. It is always a good idea to get some culture exposure. Eden Katz, an experienced world traveler said, “I’ll stuff myself silly in order to taste every interesting food a place has to offer, even if that means spending a bit more money”.

 

Hello MTV and welcome to my cheap crib Where you stay while you travel is not your actual home. Don’t feel like you need to get a thousand dollar hotel room. Find family or friends in the area, stay in tent, even camping out in your car is an option. Grab a yoga mat, and you can make about any safe place your bed for the night.

 

Michael Deckebach said it best,“go with whatever is the least expensive option you can tolerate.” By following this simple concept, Michael was able to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, a four month process, for less than $2,500.

 

Cheap adventure is possible but at the expense of luxuries. It is a price worth paying for the experiences you receive. Michael states travel as being a way he learned “self-reliance and smart decision making”. Eden views traveling as a humbling experience because “the more [she] see[s] of the world, the more [she] realizes how little [she’s] actually seen.” Both agree that traveling has significantly changed their views on the world and has helped them grow.

 

So get out there. Explore the world, and come back a better person.

 

 

 

If you’re thinking about a wild adventure, make sure to do your research! Here are a couple sources for trip planning:

http://travelsense.org

http://lonelyplanet.com

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Travel on a budget